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Organization for a Closet Bookshelf and How to Arrange It

3 minute read, by Adrian Tucker, on Oct 22, 2021

While bookshelves mainly serve a functional purpose – storing books and giving you a place to display plants, pictures, or other objects – that doesn’t mean they can’t be aesthetically pleasing as well. Rather than mimicking what you’d see at your local bookstore or library, there are a bunch of different ways you can arrange what’s on your shelves that can be both functional and add some visual interest. Bookshelves don’t have to be boring! Take a look at these bookshelf organization ideas that’ll help you get more organized and spruce up your existing space.

Clear your Space

Figuring out how to arrange a bookshelf can be hard, but the first thing you will want to do is clear your space. This will give you room to clean up dusty shelves and approach the project with a new perspective. If you are trying to rearrange with full shelves, it will be hard to generate ideas for your bookshelf organization, and the process will take much longer.

Arrange your Books in Unique Ways

Rather than arranging your books in a traditional style, you can play with your arrangement to bring a bit more visual interest. Taking a few of your favorite books and displaying them in unique ways front and center gives your bookshelf some variation, and it becomes more visually appealing.

Arranging your Books by Color

There are many ways to organize your books, but one of the more visually appealing options is to arrange your collection by color. Grouping colored bindings throughout a bookshelf helps to create consistency for the eye and gives it a sense of organization.

Adding Art

Art can be a great way to give your bookshelf some character. Whether it is a framed picture or a small sculpture, art gives your bookshelf the perfect amount of personality it needs to stand out. It is important to find the perfect mix of art and books. Without a good balance, your bookshelf can look messy and overcrowded.

Arrange Items by Theme

When selecting art for your shelf, it can be fun to play with themes. Themed shelves help tell a story and can be used to show off an achievement or showcase a collection of objects from a memorable trip. You can use multiple themes across your shelf or use a similar theme across the entire shelf.

Use Baskets on the Bottom Shelf

Baskets offer a special combination of functionality and aesthetics. They can give you storage space and add to the design of the space. Baskets are also a great way to hide clutter. Baskets can be used to store loose wires and clothing, helping you avoid cluttering up the shelves themselves. If you have kids or pets, this can be a great place to store toys and items that need to be put away when you have company over. Baskets don’t have to be bland either. Baskets come in a variety of colors, patterns, materials, and sizes, so no matter how much space you have to work with or what design aesthetic you’re going for, you can find a basket that fits your space perfectly.

Leave Some Space

When arranging your bookshelf, it is important to remember to leave plenty of open space.  This essential factor of decorating is often overlooked, and this leads to an overcrowded space that feels congested. When given enough space, the art on your bookshelf will stand out and catch the eye of those passing by allowing your collection to shine. It’s okay to play around with the space on your shelf to find what works for your room. There isn’t just one perfect solution, and every shelf is going to be unique.

If you are in need of a new bookshelf for your closet or family room, reach out to the experts at Closet America. We provide every project a professional custom designer and manufacturer that can offer you the support and expertise you need to bring your bookshelf to life. Our custom bookshelves are handcrafted and built to last. Contact us to learn more about how we can create the perfect bookshelf for your space.


Closet America was able to work with my unique circumstances in order to give me the best use of my space.

Amy B.,
Fairfax Station, VA

Let’s Start Your Project

Whether you’re interested in a custom-designed closet, office, pantry, or garage, starting your project couldn’t be easier. Just fill out the attached form or give us a call to schedule your free in-home design consultation. You can download our brochure and you’re welcome to visit our Landover Maryland showroom, to see how beautiful our custom-designed organization systems look in person. We want you to experience the Closet America difference and see how we build organizing solutions for life.